Diets don’t work. We all know this from experience.

How many of us have jumped on the trendy diet bandwagon at some point in our lives, convinced it would help us to lose weight, only to be right where we started a few months later?

Take the start of the new year, for example. According to NPR, almost a third of all New Year’s resolutions are related to losing weight—a positive thing, for sure—but a similar study cites that Americans are most likely to give up on this resolution as early as mid-January. Mid-January! By spring, the weight loss goals we kicked off the year with are already in the dustbin of history.

But that doesn’t stop us from starting again in the months before summer. Come May, fad diets are advertised everywhere again—in magazines, on our favorite blogs and websites, in the news, on our social media feeds—making it almost impossible to resist a program that promises a “bikini-ready body in just 30 days.”

Here’s the kicker: If diets actually resulted in weight loss, we’d all be trim and fit as ballerinas right now. So where’s the problem?

Why don’t diets work?

The first clue is in the first three letters of the word: “Die.”

One of the biggest reasons people don’t lose weight from going on a diet is that they associate pain in their mind to dieting. It feels like they are losing something. They are depriving themselves, missing out, giving up pleasure.

Sound familiar?

Here is a key to human psychology: Humans will always do more of what they associate pleasure with, and less of what they associate pain with. So if you associate loss of choice or deprivation with the idea of losing weight, then the diet won’t last. If you associate pleasure with taking steps to increase your level of health and fitness, however, you have a much better chance at losing weight. How come? These neuro-associations operate at the unconscious level and drive your behavior. They drive the decisions you make naturally, especially when willpower fades away (and it usually does). For someone who feels deprived, in the moment of temptation, the taste of the ice cream overrules their best intentions to be healthier.

Hypnosis and Weight Loss

In our weight loss program, the first thing we do is begin to shape the associations you make in your mind to guide you towards making better choices naturally. With weight loss hypnosis, we help re-educate your unconscious mind so that unhealthy activities feel less pleasurable, and healthy activities—like choosing healthier food—feel better.

If dieting doesn’t work, then what is a person to do? In my next post, I will cover how to lose weight without diets. Stay tuned!